I know it’s been a bit quiet this week on the blog, but this was intentional. My personal life has been very even-keeled as of late and seeing as we’re still indoors, I’ve had more of a focus on blog posts related to mental health. This week, however, I decided to switch up the location and take my indoor activities elsewhere. Enter: The Virgin Hotel – Dallas.
During their Black Friday sale, I booked a one-night stay at the hotel for me and my mom as her dual Christmas and birthday gift. I remember when construction for the hotel broke ground in 2018 and I had plans to check it out in the spring of 2020 when the weather improved to check out the rooftop hotel I stared at for months from my old apartment. Well…we know what happened, so after doing some further research on their COVID-related guidelines and standards of cleanliness, I thought it would be cool to do a little staycation in a nice hotel room! Not to mention, my mom and I have been long-time fans of the Virgin brand.
Happy fall, everyone!! It’s finally my favorite time of year, but it will unfortunately be another season spent in the house as we continue to navigate through this pandemic. It’s kind of a weird thing to wrap your head around that it has been nearly seven months of this and even weirder when you realize that we went into quarantine before it officially turned spring. Every day seems like it’s the same, yet when you zoom out and look across the past six months, so many tragedies have happened. It seems every time we joke that this year can’t get any worse, it does. The days blur into each other as we brace for impact for the next devastating headline. Has it always been this way, or are we really in the twilight zone?
Road trips have taken the travel scene by storm this summer as COVID has altered the way we–especially Americans–travel. According to a survey conducted by U.S. Travel Association in partnership with MMGY Travel Intelligence, “Respondents’ likelihood to travel by personal car during the next six months was the highest it’s been since the pandemic started, with three-quarters (75%) indicating they plan to do so. Almost 2 in 5 (39%) are willing to drive 300 miles or more (each way) for a leisure trip.” Though airlines are doing everything they can to protect the health and safety of their passengers (including their crew), many are opting to to hop in their cars to adhere to social distancing and limit contact with others. Growing up, my only experience with road tripping was the scenic yet boring seven-hour drive to and from Memphis, TN to visit my mom’s side of the family. During my brother’s high school years, we would drive down to San Antonio for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) All State Convention, but that was the extent of it. The final road trips would be for tours on college campuses. The idea of the family road trip, or family trips in general, didn’t become a staple in my house, but honestly, I’d always felt indifferent about viewing the nation on wheels.
For the last month, I have had the privilege to take time off from work. There were conditions that went along with this leave that I was always aware of before finalizing the decision, but I start this post by clearly stating this was a privilege because we are living in a time where people are being fired, laid off, and furloughed amidst a global pandemic. These occurrences are very clearly anything but voluntary by those on the receiving end, so I understood how lucky I was to have this option. I took advantage of this opportunity for a variety of reasons and one of the main reasons was the mental space and time to do some serious work internally.